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MichaelLee

Does dead lifting help to progress the back lever?

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MichaelLee

Hey new here, but I have been lurking for some time messing around with the rings a bit :)

I just wondered if dead lifting would be beneficial to progressing in the back lever... I'm not really too sure about this because I don't know what sort of muscles the back lever incorporates. :cry:

Also I would like to know because I can only really do a tucked back lever and I havn't had much progress with it so sometimes I just give up on it - whereas I have been having more progress with planche variations. (Maybe this is because I can't really feel if I'm in the right position when I'm in the 'tuck' back lever, whereas I can in the tucked front lever and tucked planche). So if you guys could say whether or not dead lifting would help me in it, it would help a lot! :lol:

Thanks!

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Philip Chubb

Possibly but probably not. If your issue is straight arm strength then no. If your lower back is the weakness then possibly. If you really need help with your back lever maybe look to some reverse cranks. It is closer to the actual movement and will give you more bang for your buck.

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AlexX

If you are asking weather you should add deadlifts as a supplementary exercise for the back lever I would have to say no as there are other exercises that provide more bang for the buck so to speak.

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Aaron Griffin
If you are asking weather you should add deadlifts as a supplementary exercise for the back lever I would have to say no as there are other exercises that provide more bang for the buck so to speak.

Wait... are you saying the back lever is better for the posterior chain than deadlifts?

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Ryan Verma

Sweet! This is definitely something I can speak about from personal experience! Unfortunately, I think only a gymnastics coach or someone with a lot more knowledge of gymnastics training would be able to give you a definitive answer.

First off, my background (prior to GB training) was olympic and powerlifting, with some bodybuilding thrown in, so I did a lot of deadlifting. Before I started GB stuff 6 months ago, my deadlift was at 495 lbs for 2 reps at 185lbs bodyweight and 5'8" tall (down to 455 for 1 rep now since less focus on it), so it was pretty far above average.

My backlever progressed the fastest out of all the FSPs (as is to be expected, since it's the "easiest") and I was able to do a full back lever hold for 10s about 3.5 months after I started from the tuck back lever and built my way up, accelerating through the tuck and flat tuck positions quicker than the recommended 8 week steady state cycle specified due to strength I already had.

I found that, due to my lower back strength, I had no trouble holding different progressions of the back lever once my shoulders/biceps adapted to the exercise. The limiting factor for me was definitely my shoulder flexibility and relative lack of strength compared to my lower back, and I think if you analyze what you're feeling, you'll find you're probably in the same boat. A quick way to test this would be to lie face/stomach down on your kitchen table or counter with your legs hanging off and attempt to raise them parallel to the ground. I think that would give you a pretty good indication of your lower back strength. If you can raise them parallel to the ground, you have all the lower back strength you need to do a back lever (I think! don't quote me!)

Another note about deadlifts vs backlevers as far as back strength development is that they are two completely different exercises performed in two completely different ways that strengthen different parts of your back more than others. A deadlift performed with proper form is done with a flat back, which means that you're not developing as much strength through the range of motion that allows your spine to curve. Depending on how you enter the backlever (lowering from inverted or inverted pike, raising from german hang, extending from tuck etc) you're working ranges of motion that you just don't work when you're doing deadlifts. And as I mentioned earlier, the limiting factor may just be your shoulders/elbows/biceps and not your lower back at all, so you'd be doing deadlifts for nothing.

In conclusion, if you do that quick test I mentioned and determine that your weakness is in the lower back, then you may benefit from some deadlifting. If you can raise your legs to parallel with the ground and hold it there for 5s+ then you're good to go and you'll just need to figure out some shoulder/bicep exercises to help out that area.

I hope I was able to clear something up for you! Good luck with training!

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AlexX
If you are asking weather you should add deadlifts as a supplementary exercise for the back lever I would have to say no as there are other exercises that provide more bang for the buck so to speak.

Wait... are you saying the back lever is better for the posterior chain than deadlifts?

Huh? how did the posterior chain come into this? but no of course that's not what was I saying. I was simply saying that there are much better assistance exercises for the back lever instead of the deadlift.

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Joshua Naterman

I too made insanely fast progress with my back lever because I was starting out with a 2.5x BW or better deadlift. My front lever progressed extremely quickly because I was very strong in weighted pull ups and body levers. The strength you build follows you from one activity to another, but as you all have noticed there are sometimes weak areas that were not developed in powerlifting, for example, that are relied upon heavily in gymnastics (shoulder strength at the end of ROMs and straight arm strength are two big ones).

In regards to JUST the back lever, reverse leg lifts AKA reverse hypers are your best exercise as they are the "most specific" but overall you will find that single leg straight leg deadlifts are the single best barbell/dumbbell/kettlebell/sandbag/"whatever other external load you like" lift for the static positions. I can tell you right now that I am very surprised at how much of a difference they are making. I just started doing them a month or two ago to activate my hips and now I can do the concentric part of NLC in a nearly straight position. At 200+lbs that's pretty awesome. In no way do I guarantee the same timeframe to anyone, I was already very strong to begin with. However, these have challenged my glutes and hamstrings in ways they have never been challenged before and there is a large carryover between those, NLC and arch ups. They all contribute very heavily towards each other. Now that I am holding two 100 lb dumbbells for the SLSL deadlifts I am feeling all sorts of new power in my stride and everything else that I am doing with my posterior chain that I never got from 510 lb double leg deadlifts. I am also not getting bigger in the legs, which is important for gymnasts. These force the small muscles in the hip to contribute a lot to the movement. This should help vaulters and tumblers a bit as well. Obviously it is also very good for dismount landings, as they are essentially a pure eccentric deadlift. Freestanding SLS also enhance this ability (high altitude landings) tremendously.

In the end, your BL will improve no matter what you do, as long as what you are doing is strengthening the muscles you need for a full lay position. My personal recommendations are reverse leg lifts, SOME sort of straight leg deadlift (single or double leg, but preferably single), and NLC.

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Ryan Verma

I feel retarded for asking this, but what the heck is an NLC?

I'm very interested to try some single leg straight leg deadlifts instead of two legged deadlifts, given your results with them, slizzardman. It's good to hear that you're not increasing your leg mass with them either; that worry prompted me to stop working squats and deadlifts for 5 months, but I finally decided to say screw it, because I didn't want to flush years of work down the crapper to pursue the crazy gymnastic moves I was seeing professionals do.

Slizzardman, check your PMs please. I have a question but I don't want to hijack this thread since it doesn't really pertain to this exercise :)

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Philip Chubb

NLC stands for natural leg curl. Or AKA a bodyweight hamstring curl. Look it up in Coach Sommer's essays. It is one of the best bodyweight hamstring/lower back exercises out there.

Your single leg deadlifts sound awesome Slizz. I would try if I wasn't afraid of muscling up my legs again. I am surprised to hear it affecting your back lever so much.

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Joshua Naterman

SL deadlifts are very, very hip oriented. Hamstrings work, but it is amazing how much the glutes and deep hip muscles have to kick in compared to regular deadlifts. You will feel them in places you didn't even know you had muscles.

Make sure to keep a slight bend (20-30 degrees) at all times during SL deadlifts. That's how you keep them a very hip-focused exercise. Try to keep your hips in the exact same position relative to the ground as when you stand. Don't let them tilt or twist to either side. You may want to practice this without any weight at all for a few workouts. That'll let you know right away how much of your hips are or are not partially shut down. Stand on one leg, bend the knee slightly, go down to flat back with hands held out like you're superman when he is flying, and come back up. You will need to stick your non-support leg behind you, but don't let this make you twist.

Rman, I just replied to your PM! Hope it helps.

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Rafael David

Dude, you don't NEED deadlifts to get your full back lever, just follow the book and progressions and you will get it. And I recomend you do some curling exercice immediately before you start the back lever training, some close grip chin up or hammer/reverse curls will help the elbow joint to get ready for the straight arm work.

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Quick Start Test Smith
You will feel them in places you didn't even know you had muscles.

Bill Wallace quote! :lol:

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Joshua Naterman
Dude, you don't NEED deadlifts to get your full back lever, just follow the book and progressions and you will get it. And I recomend you do some curling exercice immediately before you start the back lever training, some close grip chin up or hammer/reverse curls will help the elbow joint to get ready for the straight arm work.

Agreed. They can help, but the book really has everything you need.

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MichaelLee

Thanks guys for the replies, I guess I'll do a bit of dead lifting (I'm young so I don't really lift heavy anyways - I have a barbell in my room - which I load about 15 kilos on each side - but it does the job) and incorporate leg lifts et cetera when my back is feeling a bit better from it.

I just tried to do a 1 minute tuck back lever and could do it :lol: , so I don't think it is much to do with my straight arm strength.

I also just attempted the flat tuck to try and get a feel for it, however, is it meant to feel like I'm stretching my neck a bit? It feels like it is too much effort to crane my chin up to get the flat back and also it is a bit harder to breathe when I do it like that.

Is this proper form or should I try and keep my head like in a tuck back lever?

Thanks again :)

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Ryan Verma

Looking up isn't what flattens your back - flattening your back is what flattens your back!

Seriously though, your neck shouldn't feel craned or strained at all. You should feel about as much strain as you would feel if you looked at the ceiling while sitting in your chair. The difficulty breathing thing is a little weird... I have no answer for that, but it probably has something to do with the effort your exerting trying to hold the position.

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Joshua Naterman

It was difficult for me to breathe at first too. That passes with time.

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Blairbob

30 kilos+the bar. I don't think this is going to help the BL that much.

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Joshua Naterman

Gotta start somewhere.

But, it does seem like you need to be DL'ing quite a bit over your BW to really see any carryover. Which makes sense, since that's the level of tension in the body during a BL.

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MichaelLee

Alright, I will try not to lift my head up and just flatten my back - seems obvious now >_<

And I don't have anymore weights, which is why I put on the bar so little - I still have 15kilos on my dumbbells (15 kilos spread out) though. I think I might order some more, however, dead lifting the 30kilos did make me ache for for a few days - I think last time I weighed myself I must have been 55kg - 60kg.

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Blairbob

I had many of my little guys, who could not really do much more than a tucked BL, BW DL for a handful of reps. Some for 15.

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MichaelLee

Ah, then I guess my lower back must be really weak then haha.

I'll definetly start building my back up through back lever and weight exercises et cetera

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Razz

Back lever is not a lower back move. Yes it helps but if you can do a reverse hyper then your back is strong enough for a BL and the issue is in the upper body.

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Joshua Naterman
Back lever is not a lower back move. Yes it helps but if you can do a reverse hyper then your back is strong enough for a BL and the issue is in the upper body.

Sho'nuff.

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acegerter

holy crap slizz...

I tried single leg DL with 20lbs in each hand yesterday and my glutes and hammies are insanely sore. I've been recovering from my back break and have slowly been easing back into full workouts; SLDL is definitely going into my weekly routine!

Thanks man!

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Blairbob

I've heard good things about SLDL but have yet to try. May have to get a good glute ham exercise in.

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